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Farm Animal Care

Farm Animal Care | Shelter | Pasture | Nutrition | Health | Spaying/Neutering
Species Specific Care Information | Specific Health Care Features


All breeds of farm animals require a suitable pasture area for feeding and exercise. The pasture must have adequate shade-in hot weather farm animals are inactive during mid-day, preferring to relax in a cool, shaded area. Pasture areas need to meet the individual animal's needs. Ducks, geese, and pigs need water for bathing and cooling. Sheep and cattle prefer grassy flat pastures, while goats like plenty of brush and hills.

Each county has a "County Agriculture Extension Agent" - a government official who's job is to help people like you with their agricultural information/service needs. Your Ag agent can provide free or low-cost building plans, assist you with pasture/plant questions, or give you a list of hay/straw dealers in your area. Your Ag agent is located in your local phone directory - check the Government pages for County listings.

Feed - Chicken feed can be purchased at most farm supply stores. Commercial chicken feed is designed to promote fast growth and/or increase egg production, which is very harmful for an animal that is already bred to be abnormally large or lay unnatural quantities of eggs. Our recommendation is to mix your own feed, using a mixture of equal parts of whole corn, oats and sunflower seeds, with a dash of grit (necessary for digestion). The addition of sunflower seeds to the diet is very important, as it is a chicken's main source of calcium and is necessary for the formation of the eggshell. Non-medicated chicken scratch is also available at most farm feed supply stores, and you can easily add sunflowers to it for a complete feed. Chickens generally self-regulate their food intake; however, if you notice that your chicken is exceeding his/her normal weight, especially in "meat-type" breeds, restrict the amount of feed per day. Greens supply up to 25% of the nutritional needs of your chicken. In addition to fresh pasture, alfalfa, grain sprouts, lettuce, cabbage, and Swiss chard are fine greens for your chicken.